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3 Takeaways from TSM’s Week 5 Games

TSM have had back-to-back-to-back weekends that ended with a 2-1 record. They now sit at 10-5 and while tied with Dignitas they do not own the tiebreaker. This means that TSM are currently in third place. Most years nine wins will get a team into the playoffs. With 10 wins, TSM are nearly a lock. Here is a look at takeaways from TSM week 5 action.

*Note: All stats are courtesy of Oracles Elixir.

[Related: 3 Takeaways from TSM’s Week 3 Games]


1. TSM Can Play Multiple Styles

For most of this season, TSM have been playing a pretty standard composition. One that even these takeaways pieces had been calling for. It is the teamfight heavy, late-game scaling comp where they try to get Lost, PowerOfEvil or both into a good position to carry the game. This has worked well for TSM and while it is one of the easiest comps to play, TSM needed to use it in order to get some wins. Don’t forget that these wins count towards the Summer as well.

For a team to truly get to the next level and start showing that they are serious about contending at an international level, they need to have other styles of play. This is something that has plagued NA teams at MSI and Worlds. TSM are trying to break that. These past two weekends they have shown something completely new.

While they did use the exact same comp and lost against FlyQuest with it, TSM still showed something new against CLG and looked good on it. They showed that they could allow for Huni to be the carry and that the team could execute a split-pushing team comp. Then they pushed it to the next level against 100T by giving Seraphine to PoE and Tristana to Lost. This was a resounding win for TSM where they kept up pressure all over the map and utilized a much different comp than what fans had seen previously.

Now they need to focus on refining their newest style of play. Heading into a weekend that should be much easier than week 5, TSM will have that opportunity. Look for them to break out new champions along with this new style to keep teams on their toes and make sure they can’t simply be beaten because their style of play is banned away from them.

2. Dragon Control

Everyone knows that dragons in League of Legends are important. They can be a way out of an early game hole or the way to keep an opponent out of the game when ahead. They also provide important stats that can help provide teams with that extra bit of power they may need in any skirmish. Additionally, teams can be forced to fight over them because the soul is that powerful. With all this in mind and more, it is clear, dragons need to be a priority. Yet, at times, TSM have seemingly forgotten about that.

Here is a list below of TSM’s games this split and the dragons in those games. The number on the left indicates the opponent’s dragons and the one on the right, TSM’s.

  • FLY- 4:1 Loss
  • C9- 3:1 Loss
  • CLG- 2:5 Win
  • GG- 3:2 Win
  • TL- 1:3 Win
  • IMT- 0:4 Win
  • EG- 1:2 Win
  • 100T- 2:2 Win
  • DIG- 3:1 Loss
  • TL- 4:2 Win
  • CLG- 5:1 Win
  • FLY- 4:2 Loss
  • DIG- 3:1 Loss
  • 100T- 1:4 Win
  • C9- 2:3 Win

So far this season, every TSM loss has also included them losing the dragon battle. While it may seem obvious that this would happen considering the winning team usually has easy access to the dragon, that is not normally the case until the third dragon. At that point in the game, teams are able to force their opponents to fight. This is where TSM have lost their games, fighting at dragon when they were either too far behind or not ready.

So then, if they are having to fight at dragons because their opponent is ahead of them, it is important to see where TSM are in terms of early dragon control.

For first dragon specifically, TSM only take it 33% of the time.

This means that in two-thirds of TSM’s games, they are allowing their opponent to get first dragon. TSM are also tied for ninth in this category. The LCS is the only major region to have two of its top three teams, DIG are the team tied with TSM, with such bad first drake control. Of the best teams from the LEC, LCK and LPL almost all have at least a 50% first dragon rate.

The reason for this is that these teams know that soul may not be their path to victory. That said, they won’t allow it to be the path to victory for their opponents either. They will instead make sure that if their opponent is going to get soul, that it is at least when they are far enough behind that it won’t matter.

Now, TSM have gotten lucky with TL and CLG both getting soul without it mattering in the end. That said, TSM need to be better about dragons as a whole. They need to change up their strategy around them and make sure they are not in the position where they have to fight. For TSM to win consistently and to perform well on an international stage, their dragon control must get better.

3. Early Game Still Needs to Be Better

Every TSM fan should know that the team’s early games have been suspect. This is not a surprise, especially considering how bad it was early in the year. That said, a lot of it was because of the draft, some of it intentional but most of the time not. Considering TSM are 10-5, most people would think that these issues are cleaned up and that TSM aren’t solely relying on their mid and late game. Unfortunately, they are.

Currently, their early game rating has them sitting in fifth at 47.2. Their mid-game rating sees them in second, behind Dignitas, at 19.5.

For TSM to truly become the best team in the LCS, they have to have a better early game. They are the only top-six team to have negative stats in gold-difference and experience at 10 minutes at all five positions. As was pointed out they are giving up way too many first drakes. And to top it all off, they have the second-lowest first blood percentage, which is only better than the hapless Golden Guardians.

Draft is certainly one way to fix it. They have done a better job lately and thus this has been leading to better early games. But also it comes down to understanding their comp, where their advantages lie and going into the game with a clear plan. There are numerous situations where they are playing off the back foot or taking bad trades that get them behind early. A lot of this can and hopefully will be fixed going forward.

The good thing for TSM is that once the mid-game hits they are truly one of the best teams in the league. They know how to fight back and that is an extremely valuable trait that not many teams have. Because of this, once TSM figure out their early game, they could be the most complete team in the LCS.


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1 comment

TSM vs. TL: Keys to a TSM Victory and What To Watch For March 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm

[…] was discussed in the last Takeaways from TSM’s games, Dragon control, especially early on has been an issue for TSM. TL on the other hand have been […]

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